Haunted places are traditionally associated with places where violent or tragic events are believed to have happened and people believe them to be inhabited by spirits of the deceased. There are many houses, old buildings, creepy forests and underground cemeteries around the world which are believed to be haunted and many people claim to have seen ghosts or sense they are not alone.
We’ve taken a look at some of the scariest places around the world and put together a spooktastic top 10 guide. If you’re fainthearted then remember to avoid these places when you book your next holiday. Love a fright? Well grab your camcorder and get going. Just remember never to say “I’ll be right back”…
Top 10 most haunted and scariest places around the world
1. The Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs of Paris are an underground cemetery in Paris, France and are a popular tourist attraction. The bones began accumulating in the catacombs in 1786, just as momentum for the Revolution was building in Paris. Land was scarce and the city’s cemeteries were severely overcrowded. The government decided to reclaim the large plots of land that had been used for cemeteries. They slowly relocated the remains of those buried in the cemeteries to the empty limestone quarries, whose tunnels were on the outskirts of town at that time. Most of the buildings in Paris are made of limestone and so these quarries were fairly vast! The process of disinterring the bones from the cemeteries, moving them into the quarries, and arranging them in orderly piles according to type of bone (no skeletons are complete, instead you can see large stacks of leg bones, skulls and other types of bones) took several decades. No attempt was made to identify or separate individual bodies; instead each set of bones was marked with a plaque noting the cemetery they came from and the year they were moved. By the time the relocation was finished in 1860, an estimated five to six million skeletons had been moved from the cemeteries to the catacombs.
2. The Catacombs of the Capuchins
The Catacombs of the Capuchins in Sicily contain thousands of mummified bodies; which alone is creepy enough, but these bodies are dressed in their typical clothes and arranged in poses, like sitting on a rocking chair or chatting to another person. The last burials happened in the 1920s. Palermo’s Capuchin monastery outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century and monks begun to excavate crypts below it. In 1599 they mummified a monk who had recently died, brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. Some bodies are better preserved than others. The coffins were accessible to the families of the deceased so that on certain days the family could hold their hands and they could “join” their family in prayer. Iron grill have now been installed to prevent tourists posing or tampering with the bodies.
3. The Cursed Abbey of Lucedio
The cursed Abbey of Lucedio, Italy is said to be cursed by the monks that used to live there. The story goes that around 1684 young girls who lived in the area were seduced by the devil that sent them to visit the monks in the abbey. The girls managed to corrupt the monks and turn them evil. Ever since then the abbey was plagued by evil rituals, cruelty and even child molestation. The news of these events reached Rome and it closed the abbey a hundred years later, in 1784.
There are many paranormal events associated with the abbey. Some say that there is a pillar in one of the rooms which constantly gets wet and it is believed that the pillar cries because of all the cruelty it has seen. Locals say that monks tied their victims to that pillar. Another creepy fact is that a fog mysteriously rises (without any obvious weather explanation) above certain areas of the abbey, the Principato and the tower.
4. The Catacombs of Rome
The Catacombs of Rome, Italy are ancient catacombs, underground burials near Rome. Millions of Christians were buried in these narrow tunnels underneath the Italian capital. The bodies were not put into coffins but their bones used as piece of art to form different sculptures. The archway throughout the catacombs is built from leg bones and skulls are placed atop each other.
Just like the Catacombs in Paris, those in Rome attract millions of tourists. Local authorities believe that some of these tourists actually take pieces of the bodies with them. Locals believe that paranormal activity intensified after most of the bodies started disappearing. Some people report stories of odd lights and strange whispering. They believe that the spirits have been angered as they don’t like being displaced.
5. Poveglia Island
Poveglia Island is a small island near Venice in Italy. The history of this island is as intriguing as it is freaky; the island is believed to be haunted and no tourists are allowed to go there. Those ghost hunters that have been allowed have left the island terrified. When the plague hit Italy the island was the place where dead bodies and those suffering from plague were dumped. Centuries after that a mad doctor built a hospital and used people for experiments and in many cases tortured his patients. This hospital still stands there. With all those tragic events it is no wonder that the Poveglia Island is considered one of the scariest places on Earth.
6. Charleville Castle
The Charleville Castle is believed to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland. It is one of the many places in Ireland to have ghosts as permanent residents there. The castle was built in 1798 for the first Earl of Charleville, Charles William Bury and it remained in the hands of the Charleville family until 1963 when Charles Howard Bury died. The current owner is trying to restore the castle to its original beauty and people believed that the construction works taking place have angered the ghosts living there. Workers say they hear ghostly voices and classical music throughout the castle, as well as children voices from what once used to be the nursery. A young girl, named Harriet died tragically while playing on the staircase and people claim to have seen her on the stairwell. As the castle was built on an ancient land of burial ground hooded figures have been spotted by the current owners. Paranormal investigators rank the castle among one of the spookiest places in Ireland.
7. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a small town in Massachusetts, USA and is popular for its witch related tourism and the Witch Museum which is crowded by visitors on Halloween. Much of the city’s spooky tourism is because it was the location of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692: A local school is named Witchcraft Heights Elementary School and the Salem High School football team is named The Witches, police cars in the city display witch logos.
8. St. Louis Cemetery
St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans is the name of a Roman Catholic cemetery in New Orleans with graves built above ground owing to the high water table in New Orleans. Cemeteries here are often referred to as “Cities of the Dead”. New Orleans supposedly has some of the most haunted cemeteries in the world.
Dudleytown, New England, Connecticut is a now derelict town best known for its haunted forest. It is forbidden to access this place and if you are seen trying to enter it, there is a fine and you could be arrested for trespassing. This place is really believed to be haunted due to tales of a curse traced back to an English nobleman, ancestor of the Dudley brothers who settled the town. Back in England, Edmund Dudley lost his head for plotting against King Henry VII. A curse was placed on Edmund that followed his family to the New World and took root in Dudleytown. How else can we explain the disproportionate number of horrors that befell tiny Dudleytown and its residents? According to some local historians, the town’s stony remains have witnessed madness, suicide, fatal accidents, natural disasters, and vanishings and is considered a real life Blairwitch town.
10. Centralia, Pennsylvania
If you’re looking for the real life Silent Hill then look no more as Centralia in Pennsylvania pretty much fits the bill. Centralia has been a ghost town since all the buildings were condemned in 1992 although a handful of residents live there despite the immediate danger that lurks below them. Since 1962 there has been a mine fire burning underneath the town which has spewed out lethal gases such as carbon monoxide and strange looking smoke which appears from cracks in the road.
“This was a world where no human could live, hotter than the planet Mercury, its atmosphere as poisonous as Saturn’s. At the heart of the fire, temperatures easily exceeded 1,000 degrees. Lethal clouds of carbon monoxide and other gases swirled through the rock chambers.” DeKok, David (1986). Unseen Danger; A Tragedy of People, Government, and the Centralia Mine Fire.
According to experts the mine has enough fuel to keep the fire burning for a least another 250 years whilst others suggest it could burn for as long as 1,000 years. With the eerie smoke billowing out from the ground, abandoned houses, public alarms systems and history of murder during the town’s early beginnings, Centralia is defiantly one of the spookiest places on earth.
Don’t agree? Tell us what you think should be on the list and why…